Google sued by French web publisher 1PlusV

Written by Bloomberg | Brussels | Updated: Jun 29 2011, 06:59am hrs
Google was sued in France by a local competitor over claims that the worlds largest search engine blocks rivals from reaping advertising revenue and gives preference to its own sites in query results.

1PlusV, a Paris-based web publisher, filed the lawsuit to the Paris Commercial Court on Tuesday, seeking 295 million euros ($421 million) in damages and an order that Google post details of alleged anti-competitive behavior on its French home page for three months, 1PlusV said in an e-mailed statement.

Google employed a number of anti-competitive practices and unethical behavior over a period of four years to cripple 1PlusVs ability to generate business and advertising, 1PlusV said in its statement. These practices include suffocation of technological competitors and manipulation of natural results.

1PlusV has made similar complaints against Google in two filings to European Union competition regulators last year and in February, saying the Mountain View, California-based company discriminates against so-called vertical search sites like 1PlusV. Other companies including Microsoft have joined with 1PlusV in asking for a review of Googles practices.